Welcome to our new feature series, ‘Nomad People’ where each week, we’ll be talking to one inspirational person from F&B, arts & culture, fashion, lifestyle and travel and social enterprise.

The idea is to inspire and motivate with true stories of success and personal achievement, whether that be philanthropic, through a passion that has turned in to a viable financial success, through innovation or entrepreneurial achievement, people who have been especially bold, or perhaps overcome huge adversity….’Nomad People’ will feature people who are doing extraordinary and excellent things in Singapore.

Our very first subject for scrutiny is Ethan Leslie Leong, Executive Director and Master Mixologist of Maison Ikkoku Bar, creator of Asia’s Most Expensive Cocktail The Jewel Of Pangaea and winner of the Champions of The Bacardi Singapore Cocktails Search 2012 which you would think keeps him busy enough, but being the handsome fellow that he is, he has also become ambassador for Gc Smart Luxury Timepieces, and spokesperson for Urban Homme Face & Body Studio for Men.

Clearly with all these accolades and successes Ethan is doing something hugely right, so we caught up for a chat to find out a bit more about the man behind some of the best cocktails in town!

1. Tell us about what you do…

You mean my job? I make people drunk in quality and style, because when you’re happy, you need a drink; you’re sad? you need more drink; you’re stressed? you need even more drink and if it’s a celebration? it’s time to drink!

2. What do you enjoy most about what you do?

a) When I see a guest enjoy every sip of the drink I’ve crafted.

b) When I’ve successfully created a new flavour, the new experience of the journey of drinking the cocktails of the future and the classics of tomorrow. I even jump around the bar when that happens!

c) When people buy me Negroni

d) Meeting new people every day.

3. If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Don’t give up mixing, Believe in your passion and pursue it.

4. You in five words:

Passionate, sincere, real, fashionista and not-so-handsome.

5. What motivates you?

All my cocktail guests, supporters and fans – they constantly come back and ask for more and that’s what keeps me going!

6. If you won $20million in the lottery what would you do with the money?

a) Build a distillery in Singapore.

b) Buy City Nomads membership for everybody.

c) Donate the rest to charity.

7. What is your favourite drink?

Negroni, very bitter and strong, just like my life; very tough, making me stronger to overcome all difficulties.

8. If you knew then what you know now, what would you tell your 18-year-old self?

Let’s make some cocktails for the future!

9. If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you?

Brad Pitt.

10. If you could be a superhero, who would you be?

Batman – The Dark Knight, I’d head to the nearest bar and shake some cocktails during my free time.

You can find Ethan at Maison Ikkoku Bar, 20 Kandahar Street, Singapore 198885. Opening hours are Monday to Sunday 4pm till late. To make a table reservation please call 6294 0078.


Written by Heh Zee